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Gross mortgage lending down 50% in November

Gross mortgage lending dropped by more than 50 per cent year-on-year in November, according to the Council of Mortgage Lenders.

The CML found that gross mortgage lending reached an estimated £14.6bn in November – a 22 per cent fall from October and a 51 per cent fall from November last year.

The council admits that November lending usually declines, but this decline is considerably larger, reflecting the market disruption and continued deterioration of confidence in the economy.

CML director general Michael Coogan says: “In looking ahead to the coming year, the housing market will remain extremely subdued and net mortgage lending is likely to turn negative. Repayment problems will worsen against the backdrop of rising unemployment but lenders and government are working to try to reduce the negative impact on borrowers.

“Recent glimmers of light in terms of government intervention to improve conditions to support new lending are helpful, but more will be needed. 2009 will be a challenging year, but borrowers who remain in employment will see some benefits in the form of lower mortgage rates.”

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